Travels to area vineyards, in Arkansas and beyond, confirm the occurrence of comforting rituals so prominent in the wintertime grape vineyard. Winter is the season to prepare for the next growing season. Although winter provides a respite and can be a time to relax and be off-schedule, there is an always-surprising amount of work to be done. This year, regional vineyards are paying particular attention to the weather, reviewing their irrigation practices and repairing or improving equipment and water sources, to be prepared in case we are hit with another harsh summer.
Winter also is the season for many national and regional industry conferences, giving growers an opportunity to meet colleagues, customers, and vendors in preparation for the next growing season. The meetings are often intense and lengthy, with a lot of information to be gleaned; yet, the growers emerge with new information, research results, connections, and ideas to bring back to the vineyard. Best of all are the new and the renewed relationships, collaborative experiences, and connections that add to the joy of the vineyard and viticulture.
We appreciate all of the growers and industry partners in Arkansas and those throughout the region who share our enthusiasm of grape-growing and the development of the industry and the art. Thank you for your participation in our ventures and passions!